1. Forgive those who have wronged you. This may sound irrelevant, but many times depression is anger turned inward. Even though we have no control over how others treat us, we have control over how we react to someone’s actions toward us. Holding grudges and attitudes against anyone gives that person a power over us they don’t deserve. It is the one who hates who is in bondage, and many times that anger and hurt isn’t expressed toward that person, but inwardly against ourselves.Forgiveness sets us free and releases us from the prison that holds us down and hinders our own blessings.
2. Focus on someone other than yourself. This may seem contradictory, however, the incessant preoccupation with our own problems, our own needs, our own wants can literally drive one to utter despair. There is always someone’s situation that is worse than your own, and there is always something that can be done to help others; even when we are in the middle of trying situations ourselves. Some of the greatest contributions to humanity have come about from those who have suffered insurmountable adversity. The way out of depression is not to continue to focus on what has put you there. The way out of the pit of depression is to find someone who is in need or hurting, and find a way to minister to that person or persons. The way out of the pit is not to keep dwelling on it, but to find someone with a deeper need and help them. Self absorption is the way to self -destruction.
3. This third point builds upon the second point-Make a deliberate attempt to connect with a significant person in your life each day. This could be a friend, a relative, someone who holds a place of importance in your life. Take time each day to build upon the relationships that you have or to make new ones. This is vital because none of us is an island; human beings were created for fellowship with one another, and nothing can drive someone to depression quicker than feelings of being alone in this thing called life.
4.Make a deliberate attempt to laugh each day. Even in the midst of some of life’s most difficult moments there is always something we can find to smile about. Laughter has its place in that it lightens the heaviness and burdens that life sometimes surrounds us with. Even when we can’t seem to muster a smile or laugh on our own, sometimes we have to seek out those who make people laugh professionally. The story was told of a man who was told he was dying of cancer. The man was naturally upset about this, and quite depressed . He decided that if he was going to die, he would do so laughing; so he rented as many dvds and tapes as he could about comedians that he liked. He spent many hours just watching these shows and laughing. When his medical report came from his doctor a few months later; he found that his cancer had gone into remission; the man had literally laughed himself well.
5. Take care of yourself physically. This includes eating right, getting proper rest and getting excercise. We tend to feel better emotionally, when we take care of ourselves physically. This includes also paying close attention to your appearance. Try a new hairstyle or buy a new suit. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good; it can work wonders in lifting your spirits and your mental outlook. Sometimes just getting out of bed into the shower and getting dressed goes a long way in jump starting the effort to move beyond the “blues.”
6. Get out and move. Movement is the enemy of depression; because the one thing depressed individuals don’t want to do is move. Movement can involve cleaning the house, going for a walk, going for a drive, cooking a meal. Anything that can be seen as moving beyond the bed or the couch or the chair. Watching television doesn’t count because it doesn’t involve much effort of any kind. Even if all you can do is walk from your door to the end of the driveway, do it; it is a start and a small beginning can build until you can do more.